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Questions Answered by Brian Waller
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my child support be modified if my income hasn’t changed?

My child support was modified to increase and I never received a court hearing notice nor has my income changed.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Sep 3, 2021

You should first contact the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division and have them review your account. Sometimes if there is an arrears balance the amount changes. If you have no arrears, it is possible that the timing of the payments got off track somewhere and they needed to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: What if I filed a complaint but no answers have come in and it is 35 days now. What do I do now?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Jun 7, 2021

If you haven't heard anything from the court yet, I would recommend contacting the Register's office and trying to find out if there is a reason it hasn't been processed.

If you have already served the other party, make sure you have returned the summons to the court and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If I receive a child support payment that is above the required weekly amount does that mean I need to wait?

He filed bankruptcy so he won't have to pay arrears ($15k+) for like 7yrs. A condition of that is he is required to make each weekly payment($100 -ordered when child was 3 and he's 12 with not one cost of living increase), without fail. Several weeks back, I received an amount over the... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on May 7, 2021

You should contact MA DOR - Child Support Enforcement Division to confirm, but your ongoing payments should not be impacted by any overpayments if there is an arrears balance. Any overpayment should be applied to the oldest outstanding payment. It is possible he received a tax return that was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed for child support online months ago & I still haven’t heard anything or received anything. What’s next?

My daughter is four. Her dad hasn’t paid anything since she was maybe one. Barely sees her. Maybe once a month; some months, never. I’ve never done this before so I don’t know what to do next other than wait. He received something in the mail & did nothing. I still haven’t heard... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on May 3, 2021

If there was a prior order for child support that the dad isn't following, you could file a Complaint for Contempt. If there was no prior order, you would need to file a Complaint to Establish Paternity or a Complaint for Custody Support and Parenting Time.

You can contact the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my son's biological dad go to court for rights and visitation if he isn't in my son's birth certificate?

He never wanted the baby, then i got married and my husband recognized my son as his own, so legally my husband is my son's dad.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 2, 2021

If by legally you mean that your husband adopted your son and your husband's name is on the birth certificate, I don't think the biological father can do anything because he would have been notified about the adoption. If your husband isn't on the birth certificate then the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I am trying to figure out which state Florida or Mass I will have to go through to end paying child support for my son.

My son is 19 and will be finishing school soon. Child support was started in Florida in 2012 but due there being a paternity file that was started in Massachusetts on 12/2002 the amount of support i pay is based on Massachusetts calculations. So I am not sure if I will need to be going to... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 1, 2021

That is a tough one without looking at the actual order. I would recommend talking to an attorney in Florida if there is an order out of Florida that your child support is based on. It could be that it is enforcing a Massachusetts order, but I think Florida is the right place to start.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to submit hair follicle test without prior drug abuse history? These allegations came from parents of my abuse

Paternal g.parents have temp. Guardianship. They accused me of drug abuse for the first time out of 3 or 4 previous hearings. I have never been in trouble or in treatment for drug abuse. The court ordered hair follicle testing. G. Parents have zero proof. My ex claimed on the day of the assault I... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Mar 28, 2021

If you have no history of drug abuse you should just take the hair follicle and then you eliminate that as an issue that can be used in your case. If you are trying to avoid the hair follicle because of what it will show, then there isn't really much you can do if it was already ordered. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to get to visit mY son. And i wanted to know how i could get the ball rolling. What would i have to do ?

Is there a way i can do this or get visits quick and not have to get a lawyer? Or a lawyer is necessary

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Mar 1, 2021

There is nothing in Probate and Family Court that you absolutely need an attorney for, many people represent themselves. In your situation, you may want to speak with an attorney or even DCF (depending on why there are no visits currently) to understand what you can do to get you closer to having... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I had to file contempt for my ex to provide his financial statement. He has yet to do so. What’s the next step for me?

A week has past since the contempt hearing where the judge verbally told him to provide this info to me.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Feb 10, 2021

In my experience, judges don't have a lot of patience for things that aren't a good use of their time, like having a hearing that doesn't accomplish anything because one party hasn't provided info they were supposed to provide. Judges have a lot of discretion in how they handle... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello. Just wondering if a male is issued a summons to appear in court for non payment of allimony and yes it was court

If someone was served to appear in court for non payment of alimony and yes it was court ordered and he does not show can a warrant be issued for his arrest or could the do something with his electrical license?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Jan 13, 2021

If he doesn't appear for court the judge can issue a capias (basically a warrant) to have him brought before the Court by a sheriff. There are a lot of things that could happen as a remedy for the person that was supposed to receive the alimony, like the assignment of wages. Civil contempt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello I want to go to court to get custody of my dogs and so I can you please advice me on what I should do? Thank you

Hello,

I have a question about two of my dogs. I was with someone for 6 years and after a year in a relationship. He gifted me a dog. I also ended up buying my other dogs. In that relationship every time I tried to leave he would threatened to take both dogs. It took me a while before I... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Dec 23, 2020

Even though dogs are part of the family, this actually isn't a family law issue, it is a property issue. In divorces, pets are handled in the same way as property and divided between the parties in some way. Sometimes there is an every-other-week arrangement like you agreed to previously. When... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it likely judge would rule contempt if nightly call not done as child is older & can call without assistance?

Clause- “while child is of young age and unable to contact other parent without assistance of custodial parent, the parties shall engage in a nightly telephone call to allow the child to allow the child to communicate with noncustodial parent”.

This was implemented when child was 3.... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Oct 30, 2020

It is really hard to say how a judge would decide, but as long as you are making an effort in good faith and the child doesn't want to, there isn't much you can do. It does sound like your daughter has outgrown the way that section of your agreement is worded. You may want to start the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need to attend the meeting before the pretrial conference? MA probate.

Custody battle. I am filing on terms of parental alienation, emotional and physiological abuse. There's a pre trial conference but the other parties lawyer emailed me stating the court requires a meeting beforehand. I don't feel comfortable speaking in this meeting with just myself and... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Aug 10, 2020

The pretrial order you received from the court should explain exactly what you need to do and when. Some judges require the parties to meet at least a week or two before the hearing. If you decline to meet the other party's attorney will likely bring that to the court's attention. This... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need permission from SO’s ex to have a child depending on stipulations in their custody arrangement

They have an agreement that neither party can make a decision in regards to their child without first speaking to other parent and developing an agreement. As having a sibling would effect their child does he and I trying for a child fall under that agreement

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Jul 25, 2020

Having another child isn't something you need to have approved by your ex. It never hurts to let them if you have a good relationship, but definitely not required. It sounds like you and your ex share legal custody, which means you have to work together on medical and education decisions, but... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Ex and I live in different states. I have custody, he gets visitation rights. Can I move to a different state with kids?

I moved away from him with our two kids 5 years ago. ( TN to MA ) He got a lawyer and we went to mediation, I ended with custody and he gets visitation rights that I have to pay for. ( plane tickets ) I now want to move in with my boyfriend of 4 years, but it’s to a different state ( FL ). Can... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Jun 1, 2020

Good question. It really depends on the agreement that you came to with your ex when you moved away. If there is any restriction about moving to any state other than TN, then obviously it would be an issue.

Realistically, there should be no impact on your ex if you are paying for the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New Hampshire on
Q: If a Father signed over his rights in NH under false pretenses by the mother, Is there a way for him to get visitation?

Father thought he was making the best decision for his two children, the mother wasn't willing to work with him about anything and he didn't want to put his kids through that. She told him he could still see them and be in their lives but five years later and that is not the case. He... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on May 13, 2020

If the case where this happened was in NH originally and the kids still live in NH, this would be a NH case and the laws may be slightly different. In general, unless there was something in the written agreement he probably doesn't have much of an argument, unfortunately. Obviously, every case... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a quitclaim deed (signed after divorce) take precedence over a divorce agreement in MA?

Divorced 12/2012, X signed quitclaim deed giving me sole ownership of home in 9/2013, mortgage is in my name alone. Child is now 23 and X is demanding I sell the house and give him half. Child support was paid via payment to mortgage company to reduce monthly chasing for payment. Does the... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 28, 2020

That is really hard to say without knowing the specifics of the Separation Agreement that was signed as part of the divorce or divorce judgment if it was decided by a judge. It isn't all that uncommon for one spouse to stay in the home until the kids finish school and then the house sold at... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have joint custody of my son and his father and step mom are keeping him from me.

.i would like to know if theres anything I can do other than court such as calling the police to do a welfare check on my child,get dcf involved,or report for kidnapping?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 22, 2020

It really depends on the custody order that is in place and why they are withholding visits. Parenting time and custody arrangements are supposed to be honored despite other quarantine restrictions so that alone isn't a valid reason to deny visits. If you are concerned about the child's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I file for parenting time by mail?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 20, 2020

You can download the forms you need from the mass.gov site (search for 209C). There are a few more steps to the process if you are not on the birth certificate which would entail establishing paternity through a DNA test.

Whichever situation you are in, all the forms need to be completed...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will a surrender agreement hold up in a Massachusetts court?

My ex-husband surrendered his dog to our daughter Dec. 2018. She surrendered the dog to me January 2019. He now wants the dog back. Does he have any legal rights to the dog.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 7, 2020

The courts view pets as property, therefore this isn't really a family law issue even though all the parties are (or were) family members. He could file a claim in small claims court or if he has documentation that the dog belongs to him (registration, etc.) he might be able to bring a... Read more »

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